Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College students at graduation

Graduation

You have completed all your coursework, and now you are ready to graduate and walk across the stage! To do so, you need to:

  1. meet your graduation requirements
  2. submit your graduation petition
  3. attend Commencement

Please follow these steps and we will see you in Memorial Stadium in May.

Graduation Filing Periods:

  • Fall Semester (April 1 - End Semester)
  • Spring Semester (Aug 1 - End of Semester)
  • Summer Semester (Nov 1 - End of Semester)

Step 1: Meet Graduation General Requirements

You began your educational journey with a CSEP that planned the required courses for your program with a counselor. As a reminder, you may check the Associate Degree Guidelines or the Bachelor's Degree requirements.

Are You Ready to Graduate?

If you're not sure if you're ready to graduate and haven't yet submitted your graduation petition, please visit the BC's Student Information Desk to speak to an advisor.

Step 2: Submit Your Graduation Petition

  1. Download and complete the Graduation Petition.
  2. Check your transcript totals through InsideBC. For help, look at the step-by-step directions of How to Check Your Transcript Totals.
  3. Submit your graduation petition via your BC Student Email Address to bcrecords@kccd.edu. We will not accept the petition via any personal email accounts.

If your petition has not been processed yet, don't sweat it. There is a team working hard behind the scenes to accurately check every petition. There are many petitions, and this may take a little time.

Transfer Credit/Units

If you have units/credits from another regionally accredited institution/college, you must submit official transcripts from these colleges before the semester is over OR when you see your final grades posted from that college.

  • Indicate on the Graduation Petition that you have transfer credit/units in order for your evaluator to be aware of these units.
  • Fill out the Request for Evaluation form every time you submit the Official Transcripts to Bakersfield College Admissions and Records within 30 days.
  • Submit the Request for Evaluation form ONLY from your BC student email address to bcrecords@kccd.edu.

When Will You Get Your Diploma?

Diplomas are mailed to graduates approximately twelve (12) weeks after the semester is over in which the student applied to earn their degree. For example, if you applied to earn your degree in Spring, your diploma will be mailed out 12 weeks after the semester is over in May.

All of our associates and bachelors degrees shall be conferred by the Board of Trustees of the Kern Community College District upon a Bakersfield College student who has satisfactorily completed the requirements. These requirements are consistent with those prescribed by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges and the Board of Trustees of the Kern Community College District.

Step 3: RSVP to Commencement

The graduation ceremony where you walk across the stage to signify your graduation is called commencement. Commencement ceremonies are held once each year in May.

Students who complete their degree requirements during the fall, summer or spring prior to the ceremony or who will complete them in the following summer, are eligible to participate.

You are not required to attend commencement in order to graduate. However, diploma covers are only given to graduates at commencement. The diploma covers are NOT available for purchase. Attending commencement is the only way to get a diploma cover.

Graduates are required to stay the entire commencement.

Email questions regarding graduation to bcrecords@kccd.edu using your Bakersfield College student email account and include your STUDENT ID number. We will not respond to personal email accounts for security reasons.

Step 4: Order Your Graduation Gear

Caps and Gowns

Regalia, your graduation attire: cap, gown, sash and tassel, can be purchased in the Bakersfield College Bookstore, located on the Main campus, or at the online Bookstore. Regalia can be purchased in a package or separately if you already have some parts.

Grad Fair

The Bakersfield College Bookstore, hosts a “Grad Fair” in the spring. Several vendors will be present to assist you with your graduation needs such as Regalia (your graduation attire: cap, gown, sash and tassel), invitations, class rings, and commencement portraits. Regalia can be purchased in a package or separately if you already have some parts. Pricing is included in the official announcement you will receive from Admissions & Records.

The purpose of the Grad Fair is to have everything in one place, a one stop shop. If you need, you can have someone else pick up your regalia; however, they will be required to verify your name is spelled correctly for the graduation program.

Grad Fair Schedule

The 2022 Grad Fair took place in March 2022 and is now over. The information above is for future graduates.

Commencement Photographs

The commencement photographer will be at the Grad Fair to take pictures of you in your cap and gown. You will need to schedule an appointment for your sitting.

On the day of commencement, we will also have a professional Photographer and the photos will be released on our website.

Step 5: Attend Commencement

Students

Students must check-in at 5:00 p.m.

When you check in, you will receive your name card and will be asked to take a photo for facial recognition. This card is important and cannot be replaced. Once you receive your name card, you will need to verify your name as you would like it read aloud.

Next, you will go stand in line for the student processional, which begins around 6:30 p.m. Once graduates have entered the check-in area, they will not be able to leave. All graduates must remain seated during the commencement ceremony.

Coordinate a place and time to meet your guests after the ceremony that does not inhibit the flow of graduates or guests at venue entrances/exits.

Wear flat shoes. High heels/spiked shoes are not allowed due to safety concerns. If you do wear high heels or spiked shoes you will not be allowed to participate.

Decorum

We want this event to be fun and encourage you to bring beachballs and noisemakers to play with in your seats. While it is customary for graduates to enjoy and celebrate with their peers, Graduates must adhere to the Student Code of Conduct and maintain professionalism. As a reminder, leave these items at home:

Prohibited Items
  • alcohol/drugs/tobacco (including e-cigarettes)
  • outside food/bottles and cans (clear water bottles allowed)
  • camera tripods/selfie sticks
  • firearms/weapons/fireworks

Guests

  • Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the ceremony begins promptly at 7 p.m.
  • Bakersfield College is a tobacco-free campus (includes e-cigarettes).
  • Guests are not permitted on or in the front of the stage to take photographs or video
  • For the safety of your pets and all guests, please leave your pets at home. Only service animals are permitted on campus during commencement.
  • Noisemakers and beachballs to play with in the stands are encouraged. please leave these items at home:
    • alcohol/drugs/tobacco (including e-cigarettes)
    • outside food/bottles and cans (clear water bottles allowed)
    • camera tripods/selfie sticks
    • firearms/weapons/fireworks

More information about commencement, prohibited items, and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the Commencement webpage.